Panel Discussion About “The Possible Effects of the Israel–United Arab Emirates And The Bahrain–Israel Normalization Agreements”
A panel discussion on “the possible effects of the normalization agreements between the United Arab Emirates and Israel and between the latter and Bahrain”, was held on September 17, 2020, with the participation of Their Excellencies Ambassadors: Dr. Mounir Zahran, Chairman of the Council; Abdul Raouf Al-Raidi, Honorary Chairman of the Council; and Dr. Ezzat Saad, Director of the Council; as well as Sayed Abu Zaid, Husam Zaki, Fahmi Fayed, Hazem Khairat, and Dr. Mohamed El-Saeed Idris, members of the Council; and Dr. Hassan Abu Taleb, Expert at Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
The panel discussion was launched on the basis of the fact that both agreements fall within the sovereign right of each state to engage in relations with another state or more for considerations valued by the state concerned in accordance with its national interests.
The panel discussion then addressed the extent to which the UAE-Israel cooperation could reach to in the economic and trade fields, and the effects this cooperation would have on Egypt’s interests as linked to its relations with the UAE as well as with Bahrain; particularly as the Israeli press, as well as officials, addressed major projects in the fields of transport and infrastructure the UAE intends to implement in cooperation with Israel, which requires consultation and coordination with the concerned parties.
The panel discussion also addressed the fact that cooperation and communication between Israel and both the UAE and Bahrain have been existing for decades, as well as the timing of the two agreements, whether from U.S. perspective, in connection with the US presidential elections scheduled for next November 3, or the internal impasse facing Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, and his electoral base. Adding to this, the connection between both agreements and the U.S. policy towards Iran, the aggressive policy of the latter in the Gulf region, and the talk about a new alliance that includes the Gulf states and Israel to besiege Iran, along with the gradual withdrawal of the United States from the Middle East, which no longer has the same priority as it had in the past.
Finally, the panel discussion touched upon the assumption that the recent normalization agreements would enhance stability in the region as a result of an Arab-Israeli alliance against Iran. Whereas, it has been observed with respect to this assumption, that it would be more accurate to assume that these agreements might increase polarization in the region; because as long as the Iranian regime remains and maintains its arms in the region, it is not expected to stand idly by about such developments. Moreover, Iran is not the only source of instability in the region. But Turkey is also there, and Israel itself comes first before Turkey, completely ignoring the rights of the Palestinian people in their independent state despite successive peace agreements with Egypt, the Palestinian National Authority, and Jordan. And thus, the other two agreements will change nothing with respect to the status of the Palestinians or the Israeli position.